Gambling warning ahead of season launch

BetStop uptake has risen to over 18,000 users in the six months since the gambling self-exclusion register was launched.
BetStop uptake

BetStop has received 18,000 sign-ups in its first six months, according to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

The government agency launched the national self-exclusion gambling register in August, as part of ongoing efforts to minimise harm caused by online gambling.

ACMA said nearly half of BetStop registrations are from people under 30. There are concerns about a rise in gambling harm ahead of the 2024 NRL and AFL seasons.

BetStop uptake

Gambling-exclusion register BetStop allows gamblers to ban themselves from opening an account or placing a bet with licensed online and phone betting providers.

Self-imposed bans range from three months to a lifetime.

More than 88% of the people who have signed up to BetStop since August are still registered to the service. Almost half of the service’s users are under 30.

AMCA said it was “pleased” BetStop is reaching young Australians, an age group where online gambling harm is “more prevalent” than others.

It noted many users re-join BetStop once their self-imposed ban expires.

ACMA also said it was common for users to extend their ban before reaching the end of their initial exclusion window.

Gambling advertising

Recent measures like BetStop follow growing concern about young people’s exposure to gambling messages, such as during sports broadcasts.

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has called for restrictions on gambling advertising. Dutton proposed banning gambling ads during prime-time “family” viewing slots.

The government is considering a total ban on gambling advertising after it was recommended by a Parliamentary inquiry last year.

It would involve a gradual phase-out of gambling marketing, including a ban on gambling sponsorships and logos on players’ uniforms.

Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said: “We know there’s still more to do and we’ll keep working closely with states and territories to create a safer environment for Australians at risk of gambling harm.”

BetStop’s concerns for sports seasons

The 2024 AFL and NRL seasons begin next month.

ACMA warned the start of football season “may be difficult for Australians who want to take control of their gambling”.

BetStop will continue to target “key demographics” on social media to encourage more sign-ups to the service.

Betting companies like Sportsbet and TAB are required to promote BetStop on their platforms.

Gambling Helpline: 1800 858 858

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